Ill Fated

Starring Paul Campbell, Peter Outerbridge, and Niki Clyne. Rated 18A. Opens Friday, June 3, at the Cinemark Tinseltown

It's a risky proposition to title a movie anything in the neighbourhood of Ill Fated-"Hey, honey, shall we go see SOL this weekend?" That's especially true when there's no money or marketing hooks behind the thing.

Unfortunately, the moviegoing experience for this Canadian film lives up-or down-to that title. A decent story, worthy cast, and out-of-the-way locations work hard to make up for grindingly sophomoric dialogue. Take out the F word and cowriter-director Mark A. Lewis's feature study of small-town bad manners becomes a short film.

Peter Outerbridge is memorable, if somewhat underused, as a fellow who sires two kids by different women, splits (sorry, I mean, fucks off), and then comes back when they are grown, unleashing harsh consequences. Likable young Paul Campbell as Jimmy is on-screen more, and to more consistent effect, as the man's similarly restless son. Also on hand are Niki Clyne as the local gal with whom Jimmy maybe shouldn't oughta be messin', if you know what we mean.

The film's tonal shifts from comedy to holy-shit drama are ambitious, in an overreaching, overpopulated sort of way, but they would have been more coherent if even one character could articulate, you know, something other than how pissed off they are at the world and probably at you, too. Ultimately, they all seem to have fates that few will want to share-especially at 10 bucks a friggin' pop.